HUFFPOST HILL - Campaign Now Moments Away From 'Pen 15 Club' Joke

Donald Trump will Make America Great Again, that is unless someone grazes the back of his arm with their fingers, in which case he will be An Assault Victim. In a 5-4 decision, Chuck Grassley cast the deciding vote in a huge SCOTUS victory for unions. And Tim Tebow said he’d consider a run for Congress, which, to be fair, is America’s largest depository of failed quarterbacks, right after auto dealerships and 3:00 pm hits on ESPN2. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, March 29th, 2016:

LEWANDOWSKI CHARGED WITH MISDEMEANOR BATTERY - Christina Wilkie: "Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was charged with battery Tuesday following an incident in which he allegedly grabbed a reporter, Michelle Fields, at a campaign event earlier this month. Lewandowski turned himself in to police Tuesday morning in Jupiter, Florida, where he was charged with misdemeanor battery. Trump and Lewandowski have repeatedly denied that the campaign manager grabbed Fields, and Lewandowski has called Fields 'delusional.' Fields released a photo of her arm with a series of finger-shaped bruises. And newly released video footage appears to show Lewandowski reaching over and roughly grabbing Fields at the Jupiter event, nearly throwing her off balance. The video suggests that Lewandowski was lying when he attacked Fields’ credibility and accused her of seeking attention. This is a tactic Trump himself has popularized, through vicious and personal attacks on journalists like Megyn Kelly and Jorge Ramos." [HuffPost]

Wouldn't you know it, we get this event announcement from the Cruz campaign: "Wednesday, March 30 10:00 a.m. - Madison, WI 'Women for Cruz' Coalition Rollout with Ted and Heidi Cruz, Eleanor Cruz, and Carly Fiorina"


Our take:

Take note: "Marco Rubio is working to play a role at the Republican National Convention even as his rivals scramble to pick off convention delegates claimed by the Florida senator before he suspended his campaign. Rubio has sent letters to Republican officials in states where he has won delegates, charging he wants to keep his delegates, even though he's no longer an active candidate." [AP's Steve Peoples and Stephen Ohlemacher]

CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO SPLIT ON TRUMP - Nick Corasaniti: "Long a powerful and potent agitator of right-wing politics, conservative radio hosts are one of the few forces that can sway the opinions of the Trump electorate. And with Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz now tearing each other -- and the party -- apart, the biggest names in the field are delicately navigating how to address Mr. Trump’s latest provocations without alienating listeners... Conservative talk radio is just as divided and conflicted on Mr. Trump as the Republican electorate. Some advocate, some criticize. And some try to stay neutral — but that is no longer easy...ater, in February, Mr. Limbaugh heaped praise on Mr. Cruz, saying, “If conservatism is the dominating factor in how you vote, there is no other choice for you in this campaign than Ted Cruz,” he said, before dropping the highest of Republican compliments: “This is the closest in our lifetimes we have ever been to Ronald Reagan.' But just two days later, Mr. Limbaugh found himself explaining to callers that he still had a 'no-endorsement policy' in presidential primaries and that his laudatory statements about Mr. Cruz were just observations." [NYT]

DELANEY DOWNER - April Fools! Garrett Bergquist reports on the end of food stamps for the childless unemployed in Missouri: "Food Bank officials said Monday they expect more people to rely on their services after this week. On Friday, a three-month time limit on benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, [will kick in]. The time limit will affect all able-bodied adults ages 18-49 who do not have any dependents and who are not engaged in a work activity, such as education, job training or community service programs. The time limit stems from legislation passed into law last year over Gov. Jay Nixon's veto." [KRCGTV.com]

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TRUMP FAVORABILITY FALLS, NOT THAT IT MATTERS - Not that anything matters *opens up Slim Jim, takes bite, cries*. Steven Shepard: "Donald Trump wasn't wildly popular to begin with. And now he's becoming even more disliked among American voters, creating a significant threat to his chances of winning the Republican presidential nomination. Trump is, by far, the GOP delegate leader — and the only candidate with a realistic shot at winning a majority of delegates before the July convention. But at the same time, nearly two-thirds of Americans view Trump unfavorably — and his image rating has declined since Republican voting began in February. The danger for Trump is two-fold: His declining popularity is taking a toll on his standing in the 17 states that will hold primaries between now and the end of the process in early June. Losing some of these states -- or even winning fewer delegates in proportional states -- makes it more difficult for Trump to secure a pre-convention majority of 1,237 delegates." [Politico]

SCOTT WALKER ENDORSES TED CRUZ - A huge get for the Texas senator, who will need the backing of Walker's six remaining supporters in the Wisconsin primary next week. Elise Foley: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) endorsed onetime opponent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Tuesday for the GOP presidential nomination, one week ahead of the primary in his state. 'I just fundamentally believe if you look at the facts, you look at the numbers, that Ted Cruz is in the best position by far to both win the nomination of the Republican Party and then go on and defeat Hillary Clinton in the fall of this year,' Walker said on Newsradio WTMJ, a Wisconsin station, referring to the current Democratic front-runner. 'The key is we want people who are principled common-sense conservatives, who are people who do what they say, who stick to their guns but also people who can both win the nomination and go on to defeat Hillary Clinton in the fall,' he continued." [HuffPost]

TIED SCOTUS HANDS UNIONS BIG VICTORY - But, yeah, don't nominate that moderate the president put forward. Try your luck with a Democratic president and weakened GOP Senate. Dave Jamieson: "On Tuesday, an equally divided Supreme Court affirmed a lower court’s ruling in a case that posed an existential threat to public-sector unionism. As a result of the split decision, the system unions use to collect fees from workers will remain intact. It’s unlikely that unions would have survived the case unscathed had Justice Antonin Scalia not died earlier this year, leaving behind an ideologically split court. In the case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a group of California school teachers were challenging the legality of what are known as “fair share” fees. Unions must represent all workers in a bargaining unit — even those who don’t want representation — so where state law allows it, workers can be required to pay fair share fees to help cover the cost of collective bargaining and fund the union." [HuffPost]

Area vulnerable Republican senator looking out for number one: "Merrick B. Garland met his first Republican senator as a Supreme Court nominee Tuesday, spending roughly 25 minutes with Mark Kirk of Illinois in his Capitol Hill office. Reporters were briefly invited into Kirk’s office as the two men began their meeting. Garland did not respond to questions but Kirk said he was 'leading by example' by meeting with the judge...Kirk said there was a need for 'a rational, adult, open minded consideration of the constitutional process.' Pressed on whether his colleagues who are refusing to consider Garland’s nomination are being open-minded and rational, he said: 'I think when you just say, ‘I’m not going to meet with him,’ that’s too closed-minded.'" [WaPo's Mike DeBonis]

Area Republican not up until 2020 just talking sense: "Senate Republicans’ reasoning for not considering President Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court holds 'no basis' in fact, according to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). Arguing that the next president should nominate the next Supreme Court justice, Republican leaders have said they will not meet with nominee Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, let alone hold hearings or a vote on his appointment." [HuffPost's Laura Barron-Lopez]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a goat on a donkey.

WHITE GUY WHO LOVES JESUS INTERESTED IN RUNNING FOR OFFICE - We still prefer McConnelling to Tebowing. Rafael Bernal: "Tim Tebow, the former University of Florida star quarterback, is opening the door to a potential career in politics. Tebow said it would 'be intriguing' if 'there's a chance [he] could make a difference someday at something,' in an interview Tuesday with Fox & Friends's Ainsley Earhardt. The 28-year-old National Football League retiree also discussed the 2016 presidential campaign. Tim Tebow, the former University of Florida star quarterback, is opening the door to a potential career in politics. Tebow said it would 'be intriguing' if 'there's a chance [he] could make a difference someday at something,' in an interview Tuesday with Fox & Friends's Ainsley Earhardt." [The Hill]


- Bert and Ernie sing "Regulate."

- Making a vase out of Crayons.

- Nothing is more hypnotic than slow-motion video of friction welding.


@morninggloria: "In a way, as a member of the media, I helped create this monster," she whispered to her menacing pile of unread issues of The New Yorker

@AdamWeinstein: man the breitbart office slack must be amazing today

@Bencjacobs: To be fair, it really is refreshing to see a candidate jeopardize his campaign for the sake of a staffer

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